Best Community Colleges in Colorado
The Colorado Community College System consists of 13 colleges spread over 35 locations across the state. Community colleges in Colorado enroll about 125,000 students every year and grant about 24,000 career and technical education degrees and certificates on an annual basis.
These colleges also offer associate degrees in in-demand fields like business management and administration, education and training, health science, hospitality and tourism, information technology, manufacturing and construction, and science and engineering.
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Online community colleges in Colorado provide learners with a variety of educational programs that may pave the way to jobs within 24 months of enrollment.
Why Study in Colorado?
The best community colleges in Colorado offer a variety of academic programs that are in line with today's emerging career opportunities, including in-demand roles that current businesses and industries need the most.
The state also offers career and technical education programs that help students identify the path that they want to pursue after high school. These programs are a great way for learners to experience hands-on training through internships, apprenticeships, and job opportunities.
Colorado continues to be a top state in the areas of ranching, farming, and mining, but its economy has recently excelled in other industries.
Colorado houses one of the largest financial services hubs in the country. It also has broken new ground in the areas of aerospace, biochemistry, clean energy, advanced technology manufacturing, information technology, and software development.
Colorado has also seen a 3.6% growth rate in gross state product from 2014-2019, ranking fifth out of all 50 U.S. states.
Cost of Living
In its 2020 list of the best states to make a living, Money Rates ranked Colorado ninth, citing the state's "affordability and workplace safety." The overall cost of living in Colorado may be 12% higher than the national average, but that is relatively lower when compared to other big states like California (36% above average) and Massachusetts (31%).
Furthermore, Colorado ranks 4.2% below the national average in terms of healthcare expenses, 1.6% lower than the national average in utilities expenses, and just on par with the national average for groceries.
Cultural and Community Offerings
Thanks to year-round, vibrant festivals and celebrations, people living in Colorado enjoy a rich cultural experience. Colorado houses state-of-the-art museums like the Denver Art Museum, the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver.
Colorado's residents also come together to participate in lively festivals like the Aspen Music Festival, the Vail Dance Festival, the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, and the Winery Tour and Citrus Wine Tasting, among many others.
Colorado is known as one of the coldest states in the nation, especially during winters. Snowfall typically begins in late October and may continue until April.
Snowfall in Colorado averages 67 inches annually, although mountainous areas with higher elevations often receive more snow than those in lower elevations. Colorado experiences four distinct seasons, with each offering its own set of outdoor activities for the state's residents to enjoy.
Top Degree Programs in Colorado
- Best Online Associate in Psychology Programs
- Best Online Associate in Computer Science Programs
- Best Online Associate in Medical Billing and Coding Programs
- Best Online Associate in Education Programs
- Best Online Associate in Healthcare Administration Programs
- Best Online Associate in Human Services Programs
- Best Online Associate in Healthcare Administration Programs
Colorado Employment Outlook
The unemployment rate in Colorado fell from 6.4% in April 2021 to 5.1% in November 2021. Community colleges in Colorado establish long-term partnerships with more than 100 businesses and companies, producing about 4,000 workforce trainees each year.
Colorado's community colleges work hand-in-hand with the Colorado Office of Economic Development to jointly administer the Colorado First and Existing Industry Customized Job Training Programs. The office invests around $4.5 million annually in workforce initiatives to help students secure jobs right after graduation.
5 Colorado Jobs in Demand
Office and Administrative Support
Colorado Mean Annual Wage (as of May 2020): $44,350
Job Outlook: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the office and administrative support industry offers a total of 314,260 jobs in Colorado, as of May 2020. This makes it the highest-demand field in the state. Typical roles in this industry include office clerk, cargo and freight agent, administrative assistant, and proofreader.
Colorado Mean Annual Wage (as of May 2020): $54,010
Job Outlook: With 268,680 jobs in the Colorado economy, as of May 2020, the sales industry has emerged as one of the fastest-growing fields in the state. You can pursue sales roles in a variety of industries, including counter and rental, retail and non-retail, wholesale and manufacturing, real estate, commodities, technical and scientific products, advertising, and travel.
Food Preparation and Serving
Colorado Mean Annual Wage (as of May 2020): $31,350
Job Outlook: The food industry continues to be a booming business in Colorado, evidenced by its third-best employment total of 215,580, as of May 2020. First-line supervisor of food preparation, assistant to chefs and head cooks, bartender, and private household cook are key roles in this industry that students can pursue after completing an associate degree.
Colorado Mean Annual Wage (as of May 2020): $87,730
Job Outlook: With high-demand jobs and a relatively high annual wage, the healthcare industry remains a strong career path for Colorado's students. Learners with associate degrees can apply for entry-level jobs and assisting roles in occupational therapy, nursing and medicine, and dentistry.
Transportation and Material Moving
Colorado Mean Annual Wage (as of May 2020): $43,800
Job Outlook: The transportation industry in Colorado offers nearly 200,000 jobs, as of May 2020. In-demand roles in this industry include aircraft and ship cargo handling supervisor, flight attendant, and industrial transportation worker.
Popular Career Paths in Colorado
- Business Administration
- Civil Engineering
- Public Policy
- Mechanical Engineering
Best Accredited Community Colleges in Colorado
How We Rank Schools
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Frequently Asked Questions About Community Colleges in Colorado
Are community colleges worth it?
Along with affordability, community colleges provide quicker paths toward securing jobs in high-demand industries. These schools offer associate degrees that students can finish within 24 months. This can lead to entry-level jobs in industries like nursing, information technology, business administration, hospitality and tourism, marketing and sales, and education. Aside from two-year associate degrees, most community colleges offer short-term technical and vocational programs that learners can complete fully online or through a mix of in-person and online learning.
Is community college free in Colorado?
Community colleges in Colorado are not free. However, tuition at community colleges typically costs less than tuition at public four-year universities and institutions. The state also offers a variety of pathways for students to finance their education. Students can apply for the College Opportunity Fund or talk to financial aid advisors about the federal Pell Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, the Academic Competitiveness Grant, and the TEACH Grant.
How many community colleges are there in Colorado?
There are 13 community colleges across 35 locations in Colorado. Each institution stays in tune with the history and traditions of the local community, offers a bevy of two-year academic and technical education programs, and can provide a faster route for students to pursue roles in high-demand industries.
Is Denver University a community college?
Denver University, also known as the University of Denver, is not a community college. It is a private research university that was founded in 1864 and maintains a student population of almost 13,000.
What GPA is required for Denver University?
The University of Denver does not require a minimum GPA for first-year applicants; however, the average GPA for accepted students in fall 2021 was 3.78. The university takes a holistic approach to evaluating each applicant. The university prefers students who have completed the following high school coursework: four years of English and 3-4 years of math, social studies, foreign language, and science. The school is test-optional, but it accepts ACT and SAT scores.
Your Guide to Trade School Vs. College
Transferring From Community College to University
BestColleges.com is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.
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